People get to see the end result of musicals but very few get to hear about what goes on behind the curtains. Every year, the Drama Department at San Benito High School puts on a production. This year, they chose “Bye Bye Birdie,” an upbeat show set in the 1950s in Sweet Apple, Ohio. In the show, teenagers from across the United States are going crazy for the handsome rock star, Conrad Birdie. Meanwhile, his manager, Albert Peterson, is going into debt and betting his financial future on Conrad’s success.
Albert’s secretary, Rosie, is frustrated with the time and money Albert is losing on his project. Disaster strikes when Conrad receives a draft notice to join the military. Albert then attempts to stage a farewell party for Conrad where he is to kiss one lucky fan on the “Ed Sullivan Show” before he leaves for the Army. Kim MacAfee, from Sweet Apple, Ohio, is the lucky girl chosen to be kissed. But conflict comes about when her boyfriend, Hugo Peabody, gets jealous, and Rosie becomes fed-up with the abusive treatment she receives from Albert’s mother.
There was a lot of comedy, drama and excitement involved in” Bye Bye Birdie,” which ran in early April in the school auditorium. The vocal director, Amy Oelrich, said she was “excited for the community and student body to see great talent. The students have been working so hard and I love being able to work with such a fun cast.”
Past drama productions have been praised by many people. This year, the students worked hard and showed their true dedication to the process of making the show come to life. A lot of work goes into the production. Many of the practices ran from 3:15 to 5 p.m. The entire cast worked diligently to keep up with their school work and memorize lines, choreography and music. Kayla Dickson, who starred as Mrs.MacAfee, managed her time by always putting the play first in her line of priorities. Some of the practices and final performances were on school nights. The cast often worked on their homework in the hall and stairs where they waited for their next scene. Dickson agreed that all of the work was worth the effort. She mentioned that, “it’s a good way to express yourself and get involved in something fun.”
The work was never completely finished until the final strike of the set. Behind the curtains, there was a whole lot of action going on. Everyone worked hard to make sure that what the audience saw was nothing but good, quality talent. The tech crew worked hard to find people whose microphones weren’t working properly and they had to find ways to get people on stage heard without interfering with their performance. The stage crew had to work fast to get the props and set put up in the blackout of the stage between scenes. At the same time, the cast had to get ready for their next scene by changing clothes and making sure they have their microphones and personal props.
The audience got a kick out of the comedic characters and many people came to see the show more than once. In the end, the show was a success and for one of the nights they came close to having a full house.